LCRA, Bluebonnet Electric Co-op award $50,000 grant to Caldwell County first responders

New addition will house two firetrucks, office space and equipment for the Southeast Caldwell County Volunteer Fire Department

Nov. 28, 2023

LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative representatives present a $50,000 grant to the Southeast Caldwell County Volunteer Fire Department to construct additional building space. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Rick Arnic, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Patty Mundine, VFD president, secretary and firefighter; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Milton Shaw, Bluebonnet director; Tom Hamilton, VFD lieutenant and treasurer; and Jo Anna Gilland, Bluebonnet community and development services representative, Lockhart area.

LULING, Texas – The Southeast Caldwell County Volunteer Fire Department will construct an addition to house two firetrucks, firefighter gear and an office, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $25,000 in matching funds from the VFD, will enable the department to construct a building extension that can hold two firetrucks and firefighter gear. The addition also will include room for a small office. “This grant will help us protect two more of our trucks from being exposed to the elements outdoors, and it also will allow us to keep all of our emergency response gear stored in one place,” said Patty Mundine, a firefighter with the Southeast Caldwell County VFD who also serves as the organization’s president and secretary. “Everyone will have a locker to store their gear, which will result in faster response times.” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said LCRA is proud to support the Southeast Caldwell County VFD as it works to better protect its equipment, which will enable the department to provide better service to the community. “Volunteer fire departments like this one in Caldwell County provide critical services to people and businesses in rural areas,” Wilson said. “Having a safe, indoor facility for firetrucks helps protect the vehicles, which in turn helps them remain in good, working condition longer.” Wilson said it’s important that first responders have reliable equipment so they can head out to emergency calls at a moment’s notice. “Our state’s population growth and frequent drought conditions can put additional stress on volunteer fire departments,” he said. “These volunteers play a crucial role in rural areas that can have limited access to public safety resources, and we appreciate them and are glad they are here.” The department primarily serves southeast Caldwell County and provides mutual aid to other fire departments within the county. “The majority of our calls consist of fires, assisting EMS and accidents – there have been a lot more fires this year with the hot, dry conditions we had,” Mundine said. “The added security of keeping the trucks indoors will help us provide a more reliable emergency response for every type of call.” The community grant is one of 45 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at

About LCRA

The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations.

About Bluebonnet
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 128,000 meters and owns and maintains 12,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County, and from Milam County to Gonzales County. For more information about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, go to about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative and follow the co-op on Facebook and X, formerly known as Twitter.

Media contacts:

LCRA: Clara Tuma 512-578-3292
[email protected]

Bluebonnet: Will Holford 512-332-7955
[email protected]